Fireworks are always an important part of Independence Day celebrations in the United States. While firework shows are ideally left to professionals, we know all too well that neighborhoods across Southern California will be setting off fireworks in backyards and streets on the Fourth of July and the days leading up to it.
Fireworks can be dangerous and cause serious injuries if proper care is not taken. This is why it is extremely important to take fireworks safety seriously during this time of the year.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that thousands of people make hospital emergency rooms in the days and weeks around the July 4 holiday. More than half of the reported injuries from fireworks are burn injuries with 15% involving eye injuries. In 2019 alone, more than 7,000 people had to visit the hospital because of firework injuries between June 21 and July 21.
After most fireworks shows were canceled last year because of the pandemic and social distancing regulations, most of these professional fireworks shows are coming back this year. The safest option for families is to go to a fireworks show in their area.
Tips to Have a Safe Fourth of July
Here are some useful tips on staying safe this Fourth of July:
- Know what the laws are with regard to fireworks in your city and/or county. Many cities in Southern California have extremely strict fireworks laws and only allow the sale of specific fireworks. Aerial fireworks are almost always banned unless they are used by professional fireworks shows. Before you buy fireworks, it is important to know what is legal in your state and city.
- If you are allowed to set off legal fireworks in your city, do not allow children to play with fireworks. A lot of burn injuries involving children are caused by sparklers. These are not harmless. Temperatures in sparklers can be as high as 1200-plus degrees Fahrenheit.
- Do not purchase illegal fireworks. Never buy fireworks whose packaging is damaged. Never buy fireworks covered in brown paper bags.
- Always have water nearby when you are using fireworks in the backyard. Have a garden hose or a large bucket of water nearby. Never throw hot fireworks in the trash.
If you or a loved one has been injured by defective fireworks or due to the negligence of another, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. An experienced California personal injury lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.